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    If your dog loves to shred, try this fun edible alternative to paper and cardboard

    By Adam England,


    Does your dog love to shred?

    Some dogs really enjoy getting into tissues, toilet paper, and paper towels and going to town on them. If they get into the bathroom, or have access to the trash can, it’s like canine Christmas, and if they see an old tissue on a walk they’ll tear it right up.

    It’s not massively harmful, unless they eat a lot of the paper they shred, but it can get seriously messy — and sometimes a little gross, too. It’ll leave you reaching for the best long-lasting dog chews in a bid to distract them.

    If your dog likes to shred things, you might want to try this edible alternative to paper that Ella Camps-Linney and Alistair Mackenzie, professional trainers and the owners of Kirby Dog Training , have suggested in a recent Instagram post.

    We often think of dogs as loving their meaty snacks, but Camps-Linney and Mackenzie recommend giving them lettuce. “The head of an iceberg lettuce is fantastic fun to shred,” they say.

    Not every dog will be a fan — in their video, Byron wasn’t excited by the lettuce, but Banjo enjoyed shredding it, using his front teeth to dissect it. It can get messy, so you might decide to put a towel down before you let your dog get started, but it’s a great alternative to paper and cardboard if your dog likes to ingest their ‘catch’.

    Why do dogs like to shred things? The texture of paper and other shreddable items materials might be a factor. Dogs have a preference for certain textures, particularly in their mouths, and this can trigger a desire to tear and shred things that have these kinds of textures.

    Aside from the texture, simply the feeling of holding down and shredding something — be it a roll of toilet paper or a head of iceberg lettuce — can tap into a dog’s instincts, mimicking the way they might tear apart their meat in the wild.

    Dogs might also shred paper and similar materials if they’re feeling bored. If this sounds like your pup, here are five tips to keep your canine occupied that could come in handy.

    And while we might find it gross that dogs like used tissues from the trash, for example, they’re full of smells and flavors that dogs love, in much the same way that dogs often enjoy used socks. The main thing we need to do is make sure our dogs don’t eat the paper they shred — a little bit here and there is unlikely to cause major issues, but ingesting it in larger amounts can lead to an upset stomach in dogs and potentially more serious health issues, too.

    If your dog also likes to destroy their toys, shredding them apart, you might find this article useful: How to teach your dog not to destroy toys .

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